ASDA’s membership is made up of more than 22,000 dental and predental students from dental schools and undergraduate institutions across the United States. Each month, ASDA profiles one member in the e-newsletter Word of Mouth. Likewise, one legislative liaison is profiled in the monthly e-newsletter Advocacy Brief. Below you’ll find student profiles from the past two months.
If you would like to be featured in Word of Mouth, contact Publications Manager Kim Kelly at Kim@ASDAnet.org. Legislative liaison spotlights are chosen by ASDA’s Council on Advocacy. If you’re a legislative liaison and would like to be featured, reach out to your legislative coordinator to discuss future opportunities.
Name: Rosalind Herkommer (predental member)
Hometown: Garland, Texas
School: Pacific Lutheran University (Tacoma, WA)
Graduation year: 2013
Position held at club: None (Just a regular member, but an enthusiastic one!)
Plans after graduation: My next step is to send off applications, then go fishing.
Favorite ASDA benefit: The ASDA "Getting Into Dental School" guide. It has been incredibly helpful!
Last good book you read: “Man's Search for Meaning” by Viktor Frankl
Mac or PC? PC. I don't believe in the Mac's "intuitive" technology... I never want to be so boring that a computer can calculate what I'm going to do next.
Most embarrassing song on your iPod: "Baby Got Back" by Sir Mix-A-Lot, though I am hardly embarrassed. If I really need a good laugh, I'll YouTube the music video.
Personal possession that you can’t live without: Coffee maker. Need I say more?
Unique hobby or interest: Home-brewing beer. It's a delicious hobby and a practical way to put those chemistry skills to work.
Legislative Liaison Spotlight
Meet Maryland's legislative liaison, Steve Feldman.
Steve Feldman is a third year at the University of Maryland, School of Dentistry. He became passionate about advocacy after an opportunity to lobby on Capitol Hill last April. Shortly thereafter, he ran for his chapter's legislative liaison position and was elected. He also serves as the Maryland State Dental Association (MSDA) trustee from ASDA and is a member of the MSDA Legislative Affairs Committee.
His main focus as legislative liaison has been to expose students to advocacy and promote the MSDA, ADA, ADPAC and national and state lobby days. He recently organized the chapter’s first ADPAC Drive, which featured a presentation on Advocacy and Organized Dentistry by Dr. Jeffrey Cole (ADA District 4 Trustee and recent ADA Board Liaison to ASDA). He also coordinated an advocacy dinner panel for students with Dr. Cole speaking about advocacy on the national level and Dr. Charles Doring (Chair of the MSDA Legislative Affairs Committee) speaking about state-level advocacy and Dentist Day in Annapolis (Maryland State Lobby Day).
As legislative liaison, Steve is driven and passionate about advocating for change and giving back to the profession in a significant way. One of the things that gives him the greatest joy is when fellow students learn about advocacy and ask how they can get involved. He plans to run for an ASDA legislative coordinator position to help promote ASDA's stance on national issues.
Name: Andrea Sauerwein
Hometown: Nederland, Texas
Graduation year: 2016
Position held at chapter: Predental committee member, Gold Grown Awards Committee Co-Chair
Plans after graduation: I hope to become an associate in a private practice working under a good mentor to further my dental knowledge, most likely here in Texas, but maybe out of state!
Favorite ASDA benefit: The networking you gain from ASDA events is something that has changed my dental school experience. Connecting with dozens of dental students from across the country at different national events has opened my eyes to how this profession is blossoming with leaders and innovators. I have made many valuable friends through these interactions that have continued to inspire me throughout my time in dental school.
Last good book you read: "Unbroken” by Laura Hillenbrand. It’s recently been made into a movie, but the cinema does not do this book justice. It’s an amazing true story of a War World II hero who survives astounding circumstances. Although this is not my normal choice of genre for reading, I recommend this novel to everyone and anyone!
Mac or PC? Mac all the way!
Most embarrassing song on your iPod: All the songs from NOW 7 – everything from J.Lo, Mandy Moore, NSYNC, S Club 7, and Destiny’s Child. Throwing it back to 2001!
Personal possession that you can’t live without: My Aggie ring from undergrad at Texas A&M! It may sound silly, but it reminds me how hard I worked in college to get where I am today.
Unique hobby or interest: Here is a weird one for you: I use to be a baton twirler in high school! And yes, we twirled fire baton. I like to credit this as the beginning of my hand skills.
Legislative Liaison Spotlight
Meet Roseman's legislative liaison, Eddie Lee.
Eddie Lee is a third year at the College of Dental Medicine at Roseman University who has taken a fledgling advocacy program at his ASDA chapter to new heights. As a first-year dental student, Eddie became inspired when he attended his school’s inaugural Advocacy Academy. After attending National Dental Student Lobby Day this year, Eddie decided to run for the Legislative Liaison position at Roseman’s ASDA chapter. Just two weeks after being elected, Eddie took the reins and held his school’s second-ever Advocacy Academy, which was attended by more than 100 of his classmates.
Since the success of his first event, Eddie has engineered a comprehensive grassroots advocacy program within Roseman’s ASDA chapter. Eddie has spoken with representatives for Senators Orrin Hatch and Mike Lee on issues like student debt and the medical device tax. He also headed an initiative to host discussions with senior legislative correspondents for Utah Congressman Rob Bishop and Congresswoman Mia Love (R-UT) at Roseman University’s campus.
Eddie has invigorated Roseman’s advocacy program and looks forward to taking his chapter’s involvement to the next level. He has already planned a second Advocacy Academy to take place later this year and has laid the groundwork for a mentorship program with the Utah Dental Association. Eddie’s vision and energy have helped to inspire passion for dental advocacy at a school that is new to the ASDA scene. His efforts as a legislative liaison are not going unnoticed, and we can’t wait to see what he does in the second half of this year!
Name: Stella Christina Stavrou
Hometown: Rockville Centre, NY
Chapter: Stony Brook
Graduation year: 2017
Position held at chapter: President (2015-2016)
Plans after graduation: After I graduate, I hope to find some time to travel.
Favorite ASDA benefit: I joined ASDA as a predental student and ever since I would have to say the “lifelong networking” is one of the greatest benefits in my membership in ASDA.
Last good book you read: The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People
Mac or PC? Mac
Most embarrassing song on your iPod: Hannah Montana “Nobody’s Perfect”
Personal possession that you can’t live without: Headphones
Unique hobby or interest: I am a huge advocate for dedicating time to keeping a healthy well-being. Whether it is running in an obstacle course race, going on a nature walk, or even mellowing out to some music or Netflix, it is so important to keep something to maintain a balance in your life.
Legislative Liaison Spotlight
Meet Houston's legislative liaison, Glennis Katzmark.
Glennis Katzmark is a repeat legislative liaison for an ASDA chapter that takes their advocacy very seriously and has been a force since day one! Glennis is currently the third-year legislative liaison for Houston ASDA and the District Legislative Liaison and Chair for Advocacy for District 9. Last year, the ASDA Council on Advocacy named Glennis Legislative Liaison of the Year. As the new academic year gets underway, she will be working hard to continue the strong advocacy success she enjoyed last year.
With her solid background and experience, Glennis is helping Houston ASDA and all dental students at the state and national levels by being very involved with the Texas Dental Association (TDA). Houston ASDA sent a whopping 35 students to Texas State Lobby Day in conjunction with the TDA (not to mention an impressive 12 students to National Lobby Day). With the help of the TDA, she and Houston ASDA founded their Advocacy Academy, which informs Houston ASDA dental students on important issues, prepares them to discuss those issues and trains them to be successful with legislators. The TDA has been so happy with the success of the Advocacy Academy that they are going to incorporate all other Texas dental schools in the coming year. Quite a victory!
Glennis' impact as a legislative liaison is a major win for Houston ASDA, District 9, and advocacy efforts moving forward. She is committed to ASDA advocacy efforts and organized dentistry, hard-working, and enthusiastic; and we are lucky to have her!
Name: Brantley McCarty
Hometown: Virginia Beach, VA
Graduation year: 2017
Position held at chapter: District 5 Predental Coordinator, Student Government President
Plans after graduation: Find a job! (Fingers crossed)
Favorite ASDA benefit: Networking with other dental students all around the United States
Last good book you read: "The 4-Hour Workweek" by Timothy Ferriss
Mac or PC? Mac
Most embarrassing song on your iPod: The large ratio of Eminem and Taylor Swift songs compared to everything else
Personal possession that you can’t live without: Personal item would be my iPhone, but one actual thing I could not live without would be ICE - I can't drink anything without it!
Unique hobby or interest: Collecting sea glass, juggling and picking the perfect Instagram filter
Name: Irmgart Mitchell, BPT
Dental School: Loma Linda University School of Dentistry
Position held at dental school: Director, Student Services
Dental school you graduated from: Loma Linda University School of Physical Therapy
Degree: BS, PT
What made you pursue a career in dentistry? My husband, Dr. Gregory Mitchell, retired from private practice and began working at Loma Linda University School of Dentistry (LLUSD). Being retired from practicing physical therapy and for years having worked in collegiate and youth ministry, I had a passion to work with the students here at LLUSD. Serving the students with their needs, being here to support and encourage them as they move towards their careers has been very fulfilling. I’m also happy to offer my experience and knowledge as a physical therapist through lectures on injury prevention in dentistry and one-on-one advice.
How does ASDA benefit your students? ASDA is a great source of information and support for students, helping to prepare them for transition into their dental profession, teaching to put into practice now what they will need in the future, to get out from under the student debt load and flourish in a successful practice. ASDA encourages leadership as students and for the future dentist, a means to build support and strength as the profession addresses issues that affect the oral health of the people of this nation.
Words of wisdom for future dentists: The wisest thing anyone in any walk of life can do is to see outside of oneself and to be open and available to care for the needs of those around. I appreciate so much the strong emphasis that LLUSD has on service, that so many students see the bigger picture in life — it isn’t all about them and their success as far as their grades are concerned now or how much they will earn in the future, but rather what they can give back to the community (through service to the less fortunate, through teaching what they have learned in practice, through leadership on a local or national level).
Last good book you read: “Unbroken” by Laura Hillenbrand.
Unique hobby or interest: I enjoy creating ways to incorporate exercise into everyday activities. One can exercise a lot without stopping to work out, though setting aside time to work out is very important.